At this age, some children will often have 10 or more words in their vocabulary. Towards 18 months, if your child has yet to say their first words, they may be considered a ‘late talker’. We spoke to a speech therapist and they recommended a few techniques that you can try at home to encourage speech production.
Materials required: some open-ended toys that your child likes. We’ll be using toys from our 16-18 months kit as examples.
- 1. Role play
Role playing is a great way for children to practice expressing themselves. Use a plush like our Whale Plush and tell your child that the whale is hungry. What can they feed the whale? Name the items out loud.
- 2. Focus on consonant sounds
Some late talkers struggle with consonant sounds, such as p, b, m, t, d, n, y, k, g, etc. When talking, emphasize these sounds more and pronounce your words clearly. See if your child can copy you.
- 3. Give simple instructions
Use the Ocean Board to give simple instructions. For example, ask your child to get you the octopus. Processing instructions is a great way to evaluate receptive language skills. Try two-step instructions if this is too easy.
- 4. Model language
Join your child’s games and model the language that they would be using if they could speak. For example, if your child is playing with the Wooden Scale, you can talk about which side is heavier or which side has more pieces.